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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Todd VanDerWerff and Zack Handlen on “Monsters of the Week”

This was fun.

I occasionally guest on The X-Cast with Tony Black, discussing The X-Files. I’ve been very proud to be part of the show’s discussion of individual episodes and also to participate in its ambitious beginning-to-end podwatch. However, this episode is particularly exciting for me, because it’s an interview that I managed to organise with critics Todd VanDerWerff and Zack Handlen on their new book Monsters of the Week.

Todd and Zack wrote about The X-Files at The A.V. Club over the past decade, and their reviews are some of the most engaging and insightful examinations of the series ever written. They were hugely influential on my own work, and are still a joy to read. Indeed, I had access to an early review copy of Monsters of the Week for the interview, and it is a joy to read.

The interview itself is broad. We cover everything from Todd and Zack’s early history with the show, through to debating its place in the television canon and even discussing a little bit about the current state of television criticism as a whole. Along the way, we discuss the show’s legacy, the challenges in approaching it in the current era, and how the Trump administration as made a surprisingly convincing case for the show’s status as an enduring television classic.

I’m very happy with the interview, and very thankful for Todd and Zack’s generosity with their time. You can check it out here, click the link below, or just play it from this post.

 

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 17 (“Pusher”)

I’m back on The X-Cast this week, to cover a very special episode. Pusher is host Tony Black’s favourite episode, and we recorded this close to his birthday. So no pressure, then.

Pusher has long been a favourite of mine as well, a crackerjack suspense-filled episode from the powerhouse team of writer Vince Gilligan and director Rob Bowman. It’s an episode that works very well both within the confines of The X-Files itself and beyond. Even more than Soft Light, it is an episode that informs a lot of Gilligan’s core themes and ideas going forward. There is a surprising amount of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul to be found in the episode, for example.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast X-Files Podwatch – Episode #52 (The Post-Modern Prometheus/Christmas Carol)

I’m thrilled to be a part of The X-Cast X-Files Podwatch, a daily snippet podcast rewatching the entirety of The X-Files between now and the launch of the new season. It is something of a spin-off of The X-Cast, a great X-Files podcast run by the charming Tony Black. Tony has assembled a fantastic array of guests and hosts to go through The X-Files episode-by-episodes. With the new season announced to be starting in early January, Tony’s doing two episodes of the podcast per day, so buckle up. It’s going to be fun.

And I’m reteaming with Tony Black for a sequel to the last episode, albeit with decidedly more mixed results. We’re covering the episodes The Post-Modern Prometheus and Christmas Carol, both interesting and significantly flawed episodes. I admire The Post-Modern Prometheus, but can’t quite love it, for reasons I’ve articulated on this blog. Similarly, Christmas Carol is an episode is interesting and odd, but suffers from being an episode setting up one of the worst hours in the entire run of the show.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast X-Files Podwatch – Episode #19 (Aubrey/Irresistible)

I’m thrilled to be a part of The X-Cast X-Files Podwatch, a daily snippet podcast rewatching the entirety of The X-Files between now and the launch of the new season. It is something of a spin-off of The X-Cast, a great X-Files podcast run by the charming Tony Black. Tony has assembled a fantastic array of guests and hosts to go through The X-Files episode-by-episode. I’m honoured to be a part of it.

My second appearance of the second season is covering the episodes Aubrey and Irresistible with the wonderful Zach Moore. I should be doing roughly one episode per season with Zach, who is a bit of a deft hand when it comes to podcast hosting and a shrewd eye when it comes to X-Files criticism. This episode is particularly worthy of note because I’m a big fan of Aubrey and find it somewhat overlooked and underrated.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 2, Episode 8 (“One Breath”)

Just a quick link to another recent guest appearance over on The X-Cast, a great X-Files podcast run by the prolific Tony Black.

In my final appearance on the show’s second season, I had the pleasure of an extended conversation with Tony about One Breath. Readers of the blog will know that One Breath is (along with Never Again) one of my absolute favourite episodes of the show, so it was an honour and a privilege to be invited to talk about it on the show. We got to talk about all sorts of fun things, from Mister X’s grouchy demeanour to performative masculinity to just how carefully Walter Skinner sets up his stylish dead drops. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

podcast-onebreath

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 2, Episode 1 (“Little Green Men”)

Just a quick link to a guest appearance over on The X-Cast, an X-Files podcast run by the wonderful Tony Black.

I had the privilege of guesting on the show to talk about the second season premiere, Little Green Men. Wherein we discuss the worst government surveillance agents ever, how parking charges are the real crime at the Watergate, and whether Mulder really is a “pig.” More seriously, it was an absolute pleasure to guest on the show, and Tony knows his stuff inside and out. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

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